Mali – The normalization of German security policy?

by Dr. Matthias Vogl , Center for European Integration Studies (ZEI), University of Bonn There was recently a news report about the deployment of a German contingent of up to 650 soldiers – among them reconnaissance forces – to Mali within the framework of the UN Mission MINUSMA. This contingent is about to replace Dutch forces during the next few months. Given the widely known German reluctance to send soldiers into risky scenarios in Africa, one could ask if this attitude is changing now, as MINUSMA is dubbed one of the most dangerous UN missions worldwide. Is German military engagement in Africa, apart from training and logistics, becoming something normal? […]

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Hollande and Africa Policy

By Professor Tony Chafer – Studies of French Africa policy have traditionally focused on its neo-colonial basis and the often corrupt nature of the relations it engendered because of the connivances of semiofficial and unofficial networks and covert practices that characterised it. These are often referred to in the literature as la Francafrique. In seeking to understand Francois Hollande’s Africa policy this article moves away from a neo-colonial, Francafrique analytical framework and instead seeks to engage with the continuity versus change debate in French Africa policy through the lens of geopolitics. The three central themes of Hollande’s Africa policy—security, partnership and trade—are analysed, focusing firstly on the French interventions in […]

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Facing the geopolitical consequences of the falling oil price in West Africa

By Sophie Quintin Adali – Oil is the king of commodities and its tumbling price has thrown global financial markets into turmoil. For fragile oil-dependent West African states this situation could spell disaster with serious consequences for international security. If the falling crude price means cheaper petrol at the pump for oil-importing European states, the outlook for their oil industry is rather gloomier. In the short to medium terms, companies will need to adjust by axing jobs and investments. For oil-exporting economies, adjusting could prove far more problematic. It is worth recalling that the crash of the oil price in 1985 was one of the determinant factors in the collapse […]

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